we start by focusing our study on Western democratic development, because in the modern age these societies have the most developed and fully-functioning democratic institutions.
An understanding of power in these societies
must be embedded into an understanding of distributed power; i.e. checks and balances.
In a society like the United States,
there are three main branches of government: executive, judicial, and legislative.
These three branches operate on an understanding
that any two branches will keep the remaining branch in check, in how that branch is using their power.
For example, if a bill that was passed by Congress
is deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court ( judicial branch ), a constitutional amendment or revocation must be passed to either amend the bill, or entirely revoke it.
This was the case in Brown vs. Board of Eduction,
where the previous ruling from Plessy vs. Ferguson, that segregation in schools in certain parts of the United States would be an acceptable and legal practice, was overturned.
This is the beautiful aspect about democracy,
and about the school of law. If the law is willing to be enforced, it can maintain and balance the use and abuse of power in a democratic society.
The problem with a monarchy is that power
is too concentrated in one person’s hands.
And these people tend to be men
that have intense sexual and class bias.
Power in this setting,
especially in the modern age, is dangerous.
In previous aras, kings and queens
may have known how to rule with good, proper, and right intention.
In today’s society, however,
that is too great a risk or physical assumption to entrust the power of a country to a monarch.
We have to assume that the monarch
has a good chance of turning into a ruthless dictator.
Human behavior over the past two thousand years has shown
that cruelty is not a foreign concept to our psyche and that the objects we make of our cruelty tend to be other living beings, whether they be trees, plants, animals, or humans.
Why that is so, I’m not sure.
I would like to think otherwise,
that human beings have a higher calling to them.
That if the man or woman had the choice,
they would choose to uplift their fellow beings rather than subjugate them.
Part of the process of being a human being
is to come to terms with the fact our natures at the base level are still flawed.
And that through the process we can choose to either neglect
our flaws and let them increase in intensity,
Or we can actively work on understanding
and conquering them, through the guidance and help of our teachers, saints, lovers, leaders, and our communities.